Please join us as we commemorate the founding of Amherst on February 13, 1759 and honor those who bring a fresh perspective to Amherst’s history and connect the past to our community today. The Founders Day Celebration is slated for February 20, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. the Jones Library Goodwin Room.
The 2016 Conch Shell Award recipient is the Garden Club of Amherst. We are celebrating their 100 years in the Amherst Community and their careful stewardship of their history. They have deposited their records in the Jones Library and have shared their institutional history in programs and an exhibition currently on display at the Jones Library. Though some think of gardening as just another hobby, we think of gardening as a cultural phenomenon, and this organization has been a steady presence in Amherst in for 100 years. Over its existence, members have honed their gardening skills and helped steward open space in the community and maintained gardens for public use including the Simeon Strong House 18th century garden.
The Mabel Loomis Todd Lecture will be given by Dr. Kevin Sweeney. He will examine what did happen—and what did not happen—as a result of General Jeffery Amherst’s infamous suggestion in July of 1763 that blankets be used to spread smallpox among Native Americans living in the Ohio Country and around the Great Lakes during Pontiac’s War (1763-1766). In particular, the presentation will offer new insights that arise from looking closely at outbreaks of smallpox and its spread in North America during the 1750s and early 1760s, a relevant context that has been ignored in previous histories of this notorious incident.
Kevin Sweeney is Professor of History and American Studies at Amherst College where he has been a member of the faculty since 1989. He has taught courses on, written about and lectured on warfare in seventeenth and eighteenth-century North America, co-authoring with Evan Haefeli, Captors and Captives: The 1704 French and Indian Raid on Deerfield. Currently, he is working on a book on the use and possession of firearms in colonial America.
This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served at the Strong House following the program. For more information, visit our website, www.amhersthistory.org; send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org; or call us at 413.256.0678.